Italian-Argentine drug-trafficking suspect Franco Lombardi, known as The Wizard, has been sentenced to 14 years in the federal penitentiary after pleading guilty to charges related to cocaine and heroin cases in Florida and New Jersey, according to Miami federal court records.
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard’s sentencing closes a case that drew international attention when Lombardi was first arrested in Honduras and then extradited to Miami.
The prelude to the case’s end came on Jan. 20 when Lombardi, 46, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring with others in the heroin case, which includes money laundering charges involving at least $20 million.
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According to a statement from the prosecutor, the money was sent to bank accounts in Mexico, Colombia and countries in Central America.
In 2016, Lombardi had pleaded guilty in another case, this one related to the cocaine.
A court document available in the case docket shows that the sentence covers both cases.
Lenard told Lombardi that it’s likely he will be put in deportation proceedings when he completes the sentence because he is not a U.S. citizen.
The formal judgment signed by Lenard says Lombardi must be handed over to immigration authorities after the sentence.
The indictment to which Lombardi pleaded guilty this year had been handed down by a grand jury in 2015 in New Jersey. Lombardi pleaded guilty in November in the Miami indictment.
When Lombardi was extradited to Miami from Honduras, authorities there described him as a representative of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking cartel.
After U.S. authorities began investigating the case, they asked Interpol to track him down.
He was eventually located in Honduras and in April last year Honduran police, acting with the assistance of American agents, arrested Lombardi in Roatán, a tourist island resort in the Honduran Caribbean.
Media reports after his arrest said Lombardi operated a luxury restaurant in Roatán, where he was known as The Wizard.